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December 12, 2005

213R We Who Would Valiant Be

Original Title: "He Who Would Valiant Be," John Bunyan (1684), mod. Percy Dearmer in the English Hymnal (London 1906), MONKS GATE,, English Traditional Melody, adapt. Ralph Vaughan Williams (1906); New Title: "We Who Would Valiant Be," rev. REH (2005), same hymn tune. John Bunyan, a Congregationalist and Baptist preacher in England, wrote these words in prison, in his work Pilgrim's Progress, for refusing to conform to the state church; the original title then was "Who Would True Valour See." Dreamer added the phrases "follow the Master" and "Lord, thou dost defend us with thy Spirit" only in 1906. These both become "Savior" in the United Church of Christ version published in the New Century Hymnal, paired with with tune ST. DUNSTAN'S, as no. 494. The version in Singing the Living Tradition, though as here set to the tune MONKS GATE as no. 206, eschews explicit identification of the Divine, in some senses truer to Bunyan than Dreamer (See no. 213S herein). The Dearmer version resonates with John 12:26a (NRSV): "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also." "When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him," Luke 5:11


1. We who would va-liant be, come wind, come wea-ther,
fol-low in con-stan-cy the Day-star ev-er.
There’s no dis-cour-age-ment shall make us once re-lent
our first a-vowed in-tent to live as Pil-grims.

2. Who so be-set us round with dis-mal sto-ries
do but them-selves con-found— our strength the more is.
No foes shall stay our might; though we with gi-ants fight,
we will make good our right to live as Pil-grims.

3. Since, God, you e'er de-fend us with your spir-it,
we know we at the end, shall life in-her-it.
Then fanc-ies flee a-way! We’ll fear not what they say,
we’ll lab-or night and day to live as Pil-grims.

Word Score
PDF Score
Noteworthy Composer File

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Posted by rehurst at December 12, 2005 01:50 AM

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